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Trip Report

Red, Yellow, Orange: Autumn Colors in North-East of France

Roadtrip by car from Lyon to Alsace: culture and wine together.

  • The city+ 13
  • Wesserling Parc
  • Landscapes of Vosges
  • Red, Yellow, Orange: Autumn Colors in North-East of France
About Me:A french student, who likes to travel abroad during long-stay opportunities in a foreign city (internships, academic mobility, european volunteering). read more

EuropeFrance4 days / October 2020

Highs & Lows

Quiet places, awesome views, and choucroute of course.

At this moment of the year, the sun is setting early, around 5:30 PM. Keep that is mind if you want to see the landscapes.

Itinerary Overview

  • 1 Night: Rue du Couvent
    Architectural visits
  • 2 Nights: Alsace
    Automobile and architecture
  • 1 Night: Besançon
Rue du Couvent - Architectural visits

Rue du Couvent Architectural visits

Rue du Couvent - Architectural visits - Wesserling Parc
Wesserling Parc
Rue du Couvent - Architectural visits - Landscapes of Vosges
Landscapes of Vosges
Rue du Couvent - Architectural visits - Ronchamp2+

We drove until Parc of Wesserling, an ancient textile fabric that has been converted into a textile museum and an open parc. We especially wanted to enter in the old chaufferie, that could be visited through a built itinerary, with light plays and everything. However, it was used for a Halloween show that was already full, so we couldn’t enter… Such a pity. Anyway, the textile museum was quite interesting, with a nice temporary exhibition presenting bamboo scenography, for instance.

Next day, let’s climb until the famous Colline Notre-Dame du Haut, in Ronchamp, with the chapel built by Le Corbusier and the half-buried monastery designed by Renzo Piano. We waited for the sun to come under the clouds, because the inside of the chapel is known for its light plays -quite dark, otherways. By luck, we finally had some sun rays! Anyway, the whole site is so exalting; you just want to sit in the grass and look at the curved shapes of the chapel or touch the soft façade cal-covered. The autumn leaves also give a nice framing of this landscape.

Alsace - Automobile and architecture

Alsace Automobile and architecture

Alsace - Automobile and architecture - Chemin des Carrières
Chemin des Carrières
Alsace - Automobile and architecture - Chemin des carrières
Chemin des carrières
Alsace - Automobile and architecture - Chemin des carrières3+
Chemin des carrières

Now let’s head to the direction of Alsace. This region of France is known for its wine and its choucroute, a famous meal with cabbage and saucisse.

We first stopped to Mulhouse, a pleasant town that hosts the Cité of Automobile. In an ancient fabric, it shows the biggest concentration of ancient cars in Europe, from the first one in the 1880s until the latest Bugatti Chiron.  

Then we left town for the « wine road » and it’s charming little villages. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see much of them, as the night was arriving quite early. But still, through the car windows, the view is wonderful: the grapevines are all yellow and spread until the horizon… It is definitely worth visiting this region during this season.

Now let’s head to the north of Alsace, in Rosheim, where starts a peaton and bicycle path called « Porte-bonheur, le chemin des Carrières ». In an ancient railway road which used to carry the rocks from a quarry nearby, an architecture agency implemented various structures made from corten steel: benches, bins,  barriers, framing, stairs… It also enables to punctuate the path with biodiversity information. All of this meanders among the yellow vines and the former industrial villages. We did a part of the path walking, but maybe it is better to rent a bike and do the whole traject, from the start until the end, and then on the way back taking another road through the countryside.



Besançon - Culture

Besançon Culture

Besançon - Culture - View from the Citadelle
View from the Citadelle
Besançon - Culture - The city
The city
Besançon - Culture - The city2+
The city

Last stop, on the way back to Lyon: Besançon, the capital of the Jura region. I really had a crush on this city: the historic city center is really nice -you can for instance visit the birth house of Victor Hugo. You definitely can’t miss the Beaux-Arts Museum : 3 different styles of architecture from three different periods -stone, concrete, and plaster- in the same building. There aren’t really rooms; just parcours with ramps and stairs through the different themes of the museum. Moreover, contemporary and traditional art are sometimes mixed.

You also have to visit the medieval ramparts of the city -The Citadelle. They host various museums, a zoological garden, a river Aquarius, an insectarium, and a noctarium -with rats and other night animals-… It seemed to me very original to put these different programs in such a historical place! And the view of the city of Besançon is amazing from there.

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I should have woken up earlier to enjoy more of the day.
  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    The weather. It's such a pity when the fog hides the view!
  • Tips you would give a friend?

    Try to be careful of events taking place if you want to visit the Chaufferie of Wesserling.